November 2, 2015
In “my” little stretch of Capitol Hill – 15th Ave E – there are now multiple places to buy (non-chain) freshly baked goods (Bakery Nouveau, Wandering Goose, and Ada’s are my favorites) including recently-opened Sugar Plum. Sugar Plum, part of the Plum restaurant collection, specializes in vegan desserts along with some gluten-free options. The interior is super cute but is strictly a take-away establishment:
The baking is done offsite but you can tell a lot of care goes into their work. The girl at the counter was friendly and patient as I took my time choosing – I was hoping they made their own ice cream but when I learned it was just Coconut Bliss I opted for an Oreo brownie and a pumpkin mini-pie. The brownie was okay but the pumpkin pie was a winner:
It had a nutty (albeit non-buttery) streusel topping and the filling was rich and flavorful without the baby food puree texture so many store-bought pies seem to have. The crust was fine for being of the non-butter variety, and I loved the cute addition of the chocolate leaf and little paper squirrel!
October 18, 2015
What used to be the Elliot Bay Bookstore is now Little Oddfellows (“Big” Oddfellows is next door) and it combines my two favorite things – books and desserts. There is a huge array of both – Elliot Bay is my favorite Seattle bookstore and Little Oddfellows is well on the way to becoming one of my favorite places for dessert (or avocado toast, if you’re into that). The pastries are creative (pop tarts!) and quality – it’s like your favorite French bakery but a little more quirky and with a more limited selection. And free wifi, books, bookish people… le sigh.
For breakfast I had the pop tart, lunch was the Oddfellows cookie, and for dinner I had the chocolate Nutella cake – a good day. Pictured above is the pop tart – nothing light the chewy, processed version I used to get from the grocery store as a (college) kid – although those are also good in their own way. This was light and flakey, like a pie crust made from croissant dough and filled with delicious (probably artisanal) fruit spread.
The cookie also on point, and it reminded me of the “compost” cookie at Momofuku in NYC – a little of everything. It was large, fresh and nicely textured. The cake was a real hazelnutty treat with moist chocolate cake, ganache topping, and toasted hazelnuts on top. The ganache/hazelnut action at the top of the cake made for the best bites. I will be back sooner rather than later for more books and baked goods!
October 2, 2015
Saying goodbye to summer means saying goodbye to many of my favorite farmer’s market vendors, but I thought I’d squeeze in one more round of highlights. The first vendor, Hawaii’s Donut, can be a little hard to track down. They don’t have a website, and their brick and mortar location in Northgate is closed. But they do have a Facebook page, and they’re worth seeking out at one of the markets and festivals they attend. Their specialty is a Portuguese donut called a malasada. They’re basically dense balls of fried dough filled with cream or jelly. They’re popular in Hawaii, but really they should be popular everywhere.
What I liked best about this place (which I found at the Fremont Sunday Market this summer) was the freshness of the dough. They fry it right in front of you so that the donut is still warm and moist, and the oil temperature seems pretty perfect. No soggy or stale donuts here!
Next up is the easier-to-find Honest Biscuits, which also has a new, permanent spot in Pike’s Place Market. Most of their biscuit options are savory, but I went salty-sweet by pairing a warm “Pike’s Place Biscuit” (biscuit with Beecher’s cheese cubes in it) with their jam.
I was really impressed – biscuit was the proper texture and the cheese chunks added a nice complexity to the whole concoction. Next I’ll be trying some of the savory sandwich options. So yes, I’m sad summer’s over, but on a positive note it means I’ll be checking out some of the many new bakeries that have popped up all over the city!
September 18, 2015
Summer’s wrapping up, but last month I was able to make it out to Issaquah for one last sunny summer market day. I posted a couple years ago about my friend Kelly’s ice cream stand – Cosmic Creamery – and on this visit I decided to take things up a notch by combining her ice cream with a Waffly Good Waffle. The result was better than the sum of two parts.
Waffly Good Waffles, based in Renton, makes their Belgian-style waffles right in front of you by hand and injects them with pockets of nutella and other yummy fillings. In case that wasn’t enough (and it’s NEVER enough) I took home a treat from the Irish Rose Bakery, which specializes in custom cakes but also sells more manageable treats at the market.
This market never disappoints, and I love their food truck selections. I will be back next summer!
August 6, 2015
Continuing my quest to sample all that the Seattle street markets have to offer, I’ve been converted to two artisan candy-makers (and wish they would open a Seattle storefront!). The first is Trevani Truffles, which can be found at the U-District Farmer’s Market as well as others in and around Seattle. Trevani is thoughtful with their ingredients (quality chocolate, local add-ons), creative with their flavors, and FRESH. They don’t use preservatives which was just one more reason to quickly scarf down the four truffles I got:
I believe the one on the left is called “Cake” which is a white chocolate ganache with lemon. Normally I’m not a fan of white chocolate but the chocolatier convinced me to try it and I was not led astray. Flavorful, bright, and buttery! I also got a Cherri Bomb, which uses local cherries, and a Buttah (caramel with sea salt). Frankly, any of this stand’s fine chocolates are bound to impress even the snobbiest of chocolaholics and I expect I’ll be back for more (happily, they are at the U-District market year round).
Dolcetta is just as enticing so it’s lucky they’re at two different markets – Docetta is at the South Lake Union Saturday Market. There are chocolates, but there are also brownies and caramels for sale… so naturally I got some of each.
The brownie was pretty amazing. On the fudgy side, but not overly dense, with a complex cocoa flavor. The candy bar was dark chocolate with a pretzel crunch – a perfect afternoon snack for work. Finally, out of several caramel flavors I chose the maple pepper. The flavor was nice but it was the texture that did it for me – soft, buttery, gooey, melt-in-your-mouth texture that leaves you satisfied but licking your lips. Here’s to hoping both these spots start selling daily in a location convenient to ME.
August 2, 2015
In case Seattle needed another player in the Ice Cream game, Matt Bumpas (formerly the pastry chef at Poppy) has created a winner with Sweet Bumpas. I stumbled upon this food truck at the Terry Ave Saturday market and I’ve been a huge fan since. The flavors are unique but they totally work – think sweet corn & lemon, banana and coconut, and cinnamon basil. I got pints of the chocolate malt and the banana coconut, and I’ve been obsessed ever since.
The best part is, they also make their own ice cream sandwiches that are pretty much the most perfect things ever. I had to have both the peanut butter and jelly sandwich and the banana pudding sandwich.
Both were outstanding with flavors that were true to their names (not just sugar, cream, and a cookie – these really tasted like their names). I’m hoping they start selling these (or even just ice cream pints) at Madison Market or PCC because I need to be able to have this ice cream anytime – not just when I’m at the Terry or Fremont markets!
July 24, 2015
I’m addicted to Seattle Farmers Markets. Besides the meat and produce being way better than what you find in the grocery store, there are lots of cocktail-making opportunities and PLENTY of desserts. What’s not to love? Recently I’ve been market hopping in order to try every micro ice creamery, of which there are many. Let’s start with Half Pint.
The flavors are fun, and tend towards the fruity. I fully enjoyed the vanilla and blueberry pints I bought (they go great with a fruity dessert, or just with some fresh fruit). The owner is from New England so you know she knows her ice cream! You can find Half Pint at the U-District Market, along with several other smaller markets. Next up was Whidbey Island Ice Cream Company, which has been around for years and makes not only excellent ice cream but these gourmet Klondike-type bars:
Lots of flavors of ice cream are available in these chocolate packages, and I got the peanut butter flavor because nothing says “chocolate, I love you” like peanut butter. And indeed it was love at first bite. The bars are available at the Wallingford Market along with several others, and also at some grocery stores (including, I was excited to find out, Madison Market). You can also buy the pints at some locations. Try ’em out while the sun lasts!
July 20, 2015
I feel like I know almost every bakery in Seattle, so when I stumble accidentally across an amazing spot like ETG I’m always (happily) caught off-guard. This delightful, thimble-size bakery/coffeehouse in Fremont has been there since 1982, although the bakery component is more recent. As one might expect from a coffeeshop that’s survived 30+ years in Seattle, the espresso is excellent. But the baked goods were also surprisingly high-quality – I could tell just by looking.
But just to be certain, I got the chocolate banana bread and the cinnamon bun, both recommended (with good reason) by the barista. Banana bread was good, but the cinnamon bun was what really blew me away. Yeasty, fresh, just the proper amount of sweetness and icing, this was truly a delight. If you’re in Fremont (and sooner or later you must be, since it’s the center of the universe), check out ETG.